Last time on Shadow and Bone, Alina showed off her Super Special Magic Power at a fancy dinner party and had a less-than-favorable reunion with Mal (argh). Will she finally get over her childhood friend? Find out after the cut.
Alina mopes in her room because her reunion with Mal didn’t go as planned. Now her childhood friend is riding off to rejoin his regiment, and they will probably never see each other again.
Thankfully, Alina is pulled out of her funk by Baghra barging into her room and literally dragging her to a secret part of the palace basement for a hasty infodump! Let’s break this down:
Super Runaway: Baghra wants Alina to flee the Little Palace before the Darkling locates Morozova’s Stag and uses its powers for Sinister Reasons.
Nice Job Breaking It, Darkling: The Shadow Fold used to be fertile farmland before the Black Heretic turned it into the dark volcra-infested place we all love. Also, all those volcra? They’re humans corrupted by darkness.
Wait, What: The Darkling is the Black Heretic. That’s right, everyone’s favorite Nathan Explosion / Alexander Ovechkin lovechild is the same asshole who created the Shadow Fold. He’s been able to hide this by faking his death multiple times. Oh, and Baghra is his mum, and she has the same shadow conjuration powers.
This Isn’t What I Signed Up For: The Darkling doesn’t want Alina to use Morozova’s Stag to destroy the Shadow Fold. Instead, he wants to expand the Fold into not!Scandinavia and not!China as a show of strength. With Alina’s help, he could enter the Fold without the volcra harming him.
And This Quest Reward Sucks: An amplifier made from Morozova’s Stag will make Alina the strongest Grisha ever … but will bind her to the Darkling forever.
Alina soon realizes that the Darkling has been distracting her with romance so he can use her powers to further his goals. She decides to take Baghra’s offer to escape.
Next time: Alina ventures forth on her own. A familiar face joins her. I translate a lot more Russian Stuff.